An arrest has been made in Texas of a man who yelled homophobic slurs before shooting and killing a lesbian woman in a parking lot in Cedar Park, Texas over the weekend.
Via The Advocate: Akira Ross, 24, was gunned down outside a Circle K gas station in the evening of Friday, June 2. Police said they were called to the scene at 9:50 p.m. where they found Ross dead of a gunshot wound. Witnesses said a man started yelling homophobic slurs at Ross and the two exchanged words before the alleged assailant pulled a gun, shot her three times, and then fled the scene in his car. On Tuesday, authorities in Ingleside arrested Bradley Stanford, 23, and charged him with a single count of first-degree felony murder of Ross.
Two days later, police found Stanford in Ingleside, near Corpus Christi, and arrested him. He is now in the Williamson County Jail and is charged with murder.
Anthony Hill, Ross’ father believes this was a crime fueled by hate:
“And this was a hate crime because he was laying out slurs at her. She didn’t want any trouble,” Hill said. “I just want people to stop hating on people for whatever they decide to do in life. You know, because at the end of the day, we are the same. No one is better than the next. No one is worse than the next.”
The Cedar Park police will not state at this time if this is being investigated as a possible hate crime, but the department could only confirm that an investigation is ongoing.
*NOTE: The Advocate titled their piece: “Texas Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Shot Queer Woman In Cold Blood”. We’d like to remind fellow journalists that this is lazy and an incorrect headline unless the reporter knew for a fact that Ms. Ross openly identified as “queer”. Most people in our community do not. For that fact, we referred to Ms. Ross as a “lesbian”.
And ADVOCATE: Do better.